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Design

In the New Video Game 'Stray,' Players Venture through a Decaying Cybercity as a Stealthy Cat

August 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Having the stealth and nimble reflexes of a cat is the only way to escape the dangerous droids and perilous environment of “Stray.” Created by BlueTwelve Studio, the highly anticipated video game immerses players in a futuristic metropolis as a lonely, injured feline in search of its family. With the help of a drone named B-12, the sprightly creature has to evade the threats of the dystopian city as it roams the neon-lit alleys, leaps through rundown, graffiti-covered buildings, and nuzzles up to human-like robots.

Watch the game’s walkthrough above for a better sense of the cat’s abilities—endlessly annoying its fellow city-dwellers is unsurprisingly one of its defenses—before it’s released early next year for PC and PS5. You can also follow its progress on Twitter. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Art

Vivid Botanicals Bloom from the Coats of Charismatic Cats in Watercolor Works by Hiroki Takeda

July 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Hiroki Takeda, shared with permission

Japan-based artist Hiroki Takeda adds a dose of whimsy to his otherwise faithful portrayals of friendly felines. Largely rendered in shades of pink and purple with intermittent splashes of blues and greens, Takeda’s watercolor works blend flora and fauna into affectionate cats and kittens caught lounging around or mid-snooze. Vines and grasses add fur-like texture and outline the creatures’ figures, which the artist then completes with sprawling gardens brimming with leaves, blossoms, and butterflies.

Takeda tells Colossal that his vivid works are derived from a combination of influences, including his mother’s enthusiasm for plants and his background in caricature, and are the result of experimenting with myriad styles throughout his university studies. “One day, I had a moment in my mind when I saw a painting of an animal and its fur looked like a plant,” he says. “The idea of combining watercolor with plants and animals felt very natural to me.”

If you’re in Osaka, stop by Shinsaibashi Gajin Gallery to see the artist’s floral animals between July 24 to August 12. Otherwise, pick up a print, and follow his work on Instagram. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Design

An Enormous 3D Calico Cat Greets Passersby at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station

July 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

It’s not uncommon to run into a friendly cat on the streets of Tokyo, but one particular calico is making an outsized impression on passersby. A billboard ad for Cross Shinjuku Vision that was created in partnership with MicroAd and Unica, the hyperrealistic 3D feline lives outside the bustling Shinjuku Station, where it meows, wiggles its ears and tail, and stretches in its perch. As expected of any cat, the calico makes brief appearances throughout the day and is typically active between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m. when it retreats for a short nap. Get a sneak peek at the giant creature above before it officially launches on July 12. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Art

A Tyrannical Tabby Rules an Opulent Assemblage of Densely Layered Scenes by Artist Kris Kuksi

January 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Tabby Tyrant” (2021), mixed-media assemblage, 31 x 31 x 9 inches. All images courtesy of the artist and Joshua Liner Gallery, shared with permission

A bejeweled tabby presides over Kris Kuksi’s sprawling new landscape teeming with retro figures, ornate baubles, and mass-produced trinkets all blanketed with a thick coat of metallic paint. The Lawrence, Kansas-based artist (previously) melds found objects into complex, frieze-style assemblages that are infused with themes of “historical narratives, biblical subjects, animal worship, architecture, symbolic views on commerce and development, as well as human psychology and behavior.”

Titled “Tabby Tyrant,” the fantastical work is replete with juxtapositions: the individual and the collective, peace and war, industrial and classical architecture, and historic and modern. Minuscule soldiers wrangle a winged figure, a mouse swallows a human whole, and a team of warriors is outfitted with anachronistic weapons, although every action is in service of the feline ruler. Depicting disquieting and eerie actions, each scene is presented through opulent, gilded tableaus.

For more of Kuksi’s densely layered artworks, pick up a copy of his book Conquest and follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art History

Archaeologists Unearth a Nearly 2,000-Year-Old Cat Geoglyph Lounging on a Peruvian Hillside

October 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new discovery on the side of the Mirador Natural Hill in Peru reveals that common feline activities—namely sprawling out in the most comfortable position—have remained relatively stable throughout the last 2,000 years. This week, archaeologists unearthed a 120-foot-wide etching of a cat at the Nazca Lines site in Peru, which is home to a series of geoglyphs depicting a spider, monkey, hummingbird, whale, and fish. The feline rendering dates back to the Late Paracas period between 200-100 BC, making it the oldest in the area.

With bulbous eyes and a striped tail, the now-faded creature was created by stripping the top layers of soil to reveal the lighter-colored bedrock beneath, with lines ranging from 12 to 16 inches thick. “The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear due to its location on a fairly steep slope and the effects of natural erosion,” the Peruvian Ministry of Culture said in a release.

The area is located in the Nazca Desert, which is about 250 miles south of Lima, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although the cat predates Nazca culture—according to the ministry, feline renderings were common in Paracus society and found on textiles, ceramics, and other iconographic objects—similar prehistoric drawings influenced many of the geoglyphs found at the Nazca Lines site. (via Gizmodo)

 

 



Art

An Artistic Endeavor in Brussels Installs Custom Mosaics Outside Your Home—People Are Choosing Portraits of Their Cats

September 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Cats, dogs, and other mammals are known to mark their territories in myriad ways, but pet owners in Brussels have discovered a more enduring and inviting method. What began as a single project by artist Ingrid Schreyers spurred a municipality-wide initiative: the government of Schaerbeek, a suburb bordering the city of Brussels, now installs any mosaic, either created by residents or a local artist like Whitney Orville, free of charge. Many people are choosing portraits of their furry companions, although the idiosyncratic designs range from playful depictions of wildlife to urban scenes.

We’ve gathered some of the street-side assemblages here, but check out this Instagram account documenting the public art initiative for hundreds more. You also might enjoy these Japanese manhole covers and a similar mosaic-centered initiative to fill potholes.

 

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Image courtesy of John Hyphen